With only over a month left until pre-season testing at Bahrain International Circuit, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes Amg Petronas F1 Team have yet to reach an agreement over the new contract of world champion.
Lewis Hamilton’s deal with Brackley based team expired on 31st of December 2020 and since then it’s been almost a month Lewis Hamilton is out of job.
Recently in an interview with RTL Toto Wolff the Austrian boss of Mercedes has finally made it clear that hurdles between the team and Lewis’s new contract are what rumors are i.e. financial demands and world champions Lewis Hamilton’s new salary is causing the delay.
Toto: "Lewis is important not only for the team but for the Mercedes brand.”
“But the landscape is changing right now. We have a big regulation change next year. We have the cost cap that will hit us hard this year. These are all factors that have played a role in our discussions."
With the Covid-19 pandemic still going. It’s not only the small teams like Haas F1 or Williams Racing who have suffered the most but giant like Mercedes are also been struggling with the tighter financial resources and budget cap coming in next years.
Through unofficial sources it was rumored that Lewis Hamilton was earning around 40 million dollars a year in his previous deal with the German team but, now even though, he has clinched his seventh title, giving a raise on his already high salary is out of reach for Mercedes AMG F1.
"I don't assume that. We see in the near future a development not only with the cost cap but also with the technical regulation and you have to keep your eyes open, so we are still discussing what the right term is," added Toto.
Is money really an issue for a team like Mercedes AMG F1, whose parent company Daimler Ag, has a revenue of €172.745 billion.
F1 | Mercedes never ‘threatened’ Hamilton with the Russell card https://t.co/jXMKraXzgs— #MotorLAT (@motorlat) January 25, 2021
As of now Mercedes and Lewis are dealing the matter with patience and calmness and only rumors are surfacing but is it wrong to pay seven times world champion more than 40 million US dollars, when at time Michael Schumacher was earning more than 50 million US dollars and that was almost fifteen to fourteen years ago as well.
Is money the problem or there is something else going on beneath the table but for now Toto has assured media that the relationship with Lewis is still good and both parties are working on the agreement.
“We have a good relationship with each other which is much more than a professional relationship, but a friendship.”
“Lewis is important not only for the team but for the Mercedes brand.”
When Toto was asked: Can we expect an announcement soon?
Toto replied: “Soon is flexible term, but yeah soon.”